The best smart air conditioners for 2022


Air conditioning is essential in the summer, but cooling your home can really increase your energy bill. When I lived in New York, I often left my house in the morning forgetting to turn off my window. If I had had a smart air conditioner, I could have turned it off or turned on Energy Saver mode from my desk in the office.

Smart air conditioners can be more expensive than traditional units, but they can potentially save you money on your energy bill in the long run. Plus, they’re just a lot more practical all around. We’ve rounded up the best smart air conditioners we’ve tested to help you select the one that best suits your needs.

What makes an air conditioner smart?

To be considered smart, an air conditioner must have a Wi-Fi radio so that it can connect to an app, allowing you to control and monitor it from your phone or tablet. No matter where you are, smart air conditioners allow you to set the target temperature, change the fan speed, and turn them on and off. Many also allow you to set a cool down schedule, so they start at a designated time. And some offer support for Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant voice commands.

Our experts have tested 131 Products in the Smart Home category this year

Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better purchasing decisions. (Read our editorial mission.)

Intelligent air conditioning

Some models even offer power consumption reports and can use your phone’s location services to cool rooms before you arrive. That way, you don’t waste energy and money cooling an empty room when you’re not around.

Choosing the right size of Smart AC

Before purchasing an air conditioner, it is important to determine the size of unit that you need. If it’s too small, it will have to work harder to reach the target temperature, wasting energy. If it’s too big, it will cool the room before sucking in the moisture, leaving you feeling clammy.

Figuring out the right size air conditioner for your room involves some math, but it’s pretty easy. First, measure the length and width of the room you want to cool, then multiply those numbers to calculate the square footage.

Typically you want 20 to 25 British thermal units (BTUs) of cooling power for each square foot. So multiply the square footage of your room by 20 to get the minimum size air conditioner that will work in your space. If your room is 500 square feet, for example, you will need a 10,000 BTU air conditioner. If you have high ceilings and large windows, you may need more cooling power.

Energy Star recommends increasing the capacity by 10% if the room is very sunny, reducing it by 10% if it is heavily shaded, adding 600 BTUs if more than two people regularly occupy the room, and increasing the capacity. 4000 BTU if the unit is located in a kitchen.

Smart AC

AC windmill

Laptops vs. Windows AC and other options

When selecting a smart air conditioner, you will need to decide whether you want a portable unit or a window unit. They both have their pros and cons. Portable units can be moved from room to room, but they take up floor space and require a cumbersome drain hose. Window units can be difficult to install and block your view, but are much more unobtrusive than portable units.

Another option is to buy a retrofit device to make your basic air conditioner smart. If you already have a working air conditioning, you may want to consider a device like the Sensibo Sky, which allows you to remotely control the phone and other features connected to your old traditional unit. It works with different types of air conditioners and was easy to install in our testing.

In the meantime, if you need something to keep you cool without necessarily lowering the temperature in an entire room, you might want to consider a device like the Evapolar personal air cooler. It is not an air conditioner, but it keeps you comfortable using evaporative cooling and it doubles as a humidifier. It is perfect for hot and dry office buildings.

How to Wet Test Smart Air Conditioners

We test smart air conditioners in our real homes, taking into account factors such as application experience, cooling performance, design and specifications, ease of installation, modes, volume of operation and outlet. in charge of voice commands and scheduling. When determining our ratings, we also look at whether a unit is Energy Star certified and / or reports on energy consumption.

We provide a detailed analysis of each of the smart AC units here in our reviews, so be sure to check them out. And we’ll update this summary often as we test new models, so check back soon.

If you’re looking for other smart home devices, we can help you choose the one that best suits your needs. Whether you’re looking for a smart bulb, a security camera, or a thermostat, check out the best smart devices we’ve tested for every room in the house.


Karl M. Bailey